When it comes to surface fabrication, abrasives and adhesives are critical. After all, fabricators can't be "making dust" without the proper abrasive equipment, and every fabricator knows that the right adhesive applied in the right amount with the right reinforcement can make or break a project. While there are always the tried and true products, there are also new developments all the time.
That being said, SolidSurface put out a call to a variety of companies in the industry, in an effort to find out what's currently popular and what might be the next big thing. What follows is a summary of the responses we received. Hopefully you will find something you can use to improve your own operation.
3M offers a complete system of micro-finishing abrasives and compounds that can be used to create a matte-, semigloss or high-gloss finish on acrylic-filled and polyester-filled solid surfaces in just a few easy steps. The system features Trizact film discs, which reportedly deliver consistent cut rate and finish. In addition to products, 3M provides simple to use directions, including video instructions, to help ensure the best results from using this system.
Abrasive Enterprises Inc. offers bonded and coated abrasive products. The company's tear-resistant premium cloth-backed abrasives reportedly cut fast and significantly outlast paper. The company's Performance SS line of products has been engineered for stone professionals and are available in PSA and Hook and Loop discs, large discs and screens.
AbrasiveSales.com offers a complete line of coated abrasive products (grinding and finishing belts, discs, etc.), with made-to-order items in a broad range of specifications. One new product is PDQ Discs, an alternative to common small diameter (1.5- to 3-in.) quick-change discs. A PDQ disc is quite simply an abrasive cloth disc (same abrasive materials as other quick-change discs) with a center hole. A hardened steel hub pops through the center hole, and spins onto a PDQ holder. Self-tightening, the hub is drawn below the grinding surface of the disc. The same variable flexibility, reuseable pop-in-hub approach also applies to PDQ holders for resin fiber discs, providing efficient finishing and fast, tool-free disc changing.
Beaver Tools offers the 3-in. random orbit bowl sander for those hard-to-reach places. This aggressive sander randomly turns at 15,000 rpm. It has an ergonomically designed pistol grip handle and weighs a little over 1 lb.
The tool utilizes the flexible edge of a "Dani Pad" to allow the user to sand solid surface materials inside a sink bowl or in a coved splash without gouging. It requires 90 psi minimum pressure and has only 10 cfm average air consumption. It is 513⁄16 in. in overall length.
Bosch Power Tools and Accessories' large and small angle grinders and sanders with Bosch Vibration Dampening Technology have made a leap forward in ergonomics and durability with its new 1800 Series line of heavy-duty 7- and 9 -in. large angle grinders and sanders.
By integrating patented Bosch vibration-reduction technology, the new Bosch grinders reportedly cut vibration by 60 percent. The first answer to an issue plaguing grinder users every day, the system incorporates special red vibration absorbing rings into its three position side-assist handle and between the main trigger and grinder motor housing. Also available on the company's small angle grinders, the system offers comfort in all grinding and sanding applications.